Stroll Hawai’i’s Largest Wetlands & Grow Kaha Garden

by Hui o Ko'olaupoko

This project is a living example of how individual homeowners can help improve the local environment through the use of native vegetation and xeriscape gardens. The project replaced grass and invasive species along 150 yards of stream bank with native Hawaiian plants that can be used for soil stabilization, biofiltration, and water conservation. Visitors can walk the garden pathways to see how plantings might appear in their own backyards.

Participants will Help with soil stabilization, bio-filtration, and water conservation by planting native Hawaiian varietals, gain a chance to identify native plants, learn their growing patterns, how to properly propagate, and where to plant different species to maximize their environmental benefits.


  • Visit the windward side of the island and immerse in native vegetation
  • Learn about native plants and their importance to the ecosystem
  • Help clear invasive plant species using small hand tools
  • Make new friends in the community
  • Ideal for keiki (youth participants)
  • Free parking available
  • Stroll along Hawai’i’s largest wetland & view native waterbirds

Know Before You Join

  • Ability to perform gardening tasks while bending, kneeling, lifting, and stretching
  • Ideal for volunteers of all ages. Participants under age 16 must have adult supervision; ages under 18must have signed permission from a parent or legal guardian. Waiver for all participants can be signed onsite
  • No drop-ins; must sign up in advance
  • Additional weekday events listed at
  • Requests for private group visits can be arranged by contacting


1 review

  1. Diamond in the Rough

    Discovering Kaha Gardens is a diamond in the rough encounter. Helping It Thrive is an experience I will long remember. We set off from Waikiki at around 8am and ventured over the pali via the H-3 highway which I learned was an engineering marvel that took over 20 years to complete. I suppose that most people heading over to the windward side of Oahu are going to the beach to see the small islands offshore, yet a long way before that lies a terrific, if secluded bird sanctuary thats looked after by naturalist groups. Most of it appears to be off limits and hidden by trees, but a small parking lot led to a little park where we met our hosts Kristen and Jamie’s who took command of the morning. Immediately I felt welcomed and knew we were in good hands, enlightened by their enthusiasm to make our experience wonderful while making a positive contribution too. Today’s group was made up of 7 travelers from travel2change
    and 9 locals from a nearby school. First we were led along a path to see waterbirds in their natural setting. Along the way they pointed out indigenous plants that the group has placed. Later we were given small hand tools to weed out the invasives. In less than an hour our group had cleared it down to the soil. Then Kristen showed 3 verticals of native plans they raised that were all in small pots. Her special technique for planting them was all the training we needed to replenish the soil. It was fun getting to know everyone in a scenic environment with pali cliffs distinct folds in view. Moreover we left markers of our progress that will someday flourish into native the environment that this place was always meant to be. It feels good to know we made a difference in paradise.

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